Mystery has deepened over the planned trip of an 'R.Gandhi' to London just days before the massive 2019 Lok Sabha election results, with details of the purported travel itinerary being accessed by the Republic Media Network.
As per the flight tickets, a person by the name Mr. 'R Gandhi' was scheduled to travel from New Delhi to London on the early hours of Monday morning via Air India flight AI 0161. The flight was to takeoff at 1:20 am on May 20, hours after the final phase of voting in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections concluded and the exit polls projected the return of an NDA government at the Centre.
The same person, Mr. 'R.Gandhi', was scheduled to return just three days later, again via Air India aboard flight AI 062 which was scheduled to takeoff from the UK capital at 11:20 pm on Wednesday, May 22, meaning 'R. Gandhi' would likely land in India on the morning of May 23 when the vote-counting is set to begin.
However, in a curious twist, Republic TV has learnt via sources that the planned departure ticket was cancelled at the last moment, meaning the trip hasn't happened. The reason for the cancellation is unknown.
On May 19, shortly before Mr 'R. Gandhi' was set to takeoff for his short London visit, Republic's double exit poll had projected that the Congress party would fail to cross the 100-seat mark in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls after having been reduced to its lowest ever representation in the Lok Sabha - just 44 seats - in the 2014 general elections.
Following the unfavourable exit polls, the Congress was forced to change its plans for May 23. Initially, former UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had invited a host of Opposition leaders as well as major non-NDA and non-UPA leaders including Telangana CM and TRS chief KCR, BJD chief and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and YSRCP supremo Jagan Mohan Reddy to a meeting, purportedly to settle on a joint Prime Ministerial candidate against Narendra Modi. That meeting has, however, been postponed. BSP supremo Mayawati who had refused to ally with the Congress for the elections in Uttar Pradesh had also put off meeting with Sonia Gandhi in the same fashion, after the exit polls.
It remains unknown why Mr. R. Gandhi cancelled what would have been a whirlwind London trip following Republic Media Network accessing the flight details.